Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why are teachers underpaid?

It's pretty simple: because so much education money is siphoned off to salaries and perks that reach well into the six figures for administrators and union bosses. A classic example of the former from the Chicago Sun Times:

A Niles Township school superintendent made $411,500 last year -- a record in a year that saw top public elementary and high school administrators' pay climb past $400,000 for the first time.

But the taxpayer tab for Neil Codell, 56, didn't stop after he left his post June 30.

Codell continued to receive his superintendent's salary -- even while in a lesser job -- for an additional six months. Niles Township High School District 219 now faces a potential penalty of well over $100,000 from the Teachers' Retirement System because of Codell's early retirement and large spike in pay, state officials say.

"This may turn out to be a platinum parachute by the time all the bills are paid,'' said the agency's executive director, Jon Bauman. [...]

[A] contract option, for both Codell and his family, committed the district to cover 100 percent of hospitalization and major medical premiums for 10 years after Codell's retirement. The deal also included, while he was employed, a $500-a-month auto allowance and a term life insurance policy for twice his salary. [...]

Both the district ACT score and its Prairie State Achievement Exam pass rate are lower now than when Codell became superintendent.

Remember that story when you hear about how more taxpayer money needs to be funneled into education.

There is plenty of money, way too much really, going to education. But the majority of it is seized by greedy unions and bureaucrats.

Why do private schools so outperform public schools despite much lower costs per student? It's elementary (pun intended); an average of 80% of private school budgets go to teachers, the corresponding figure for public schools being 40%.

Is there really any coherent argument against school choice at this point? But when the interests of poor children run up against the interests of teacher's unions, guess who wins?

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